Tag Archives: Airbus A321-231 WL

Wizz Air signs a MOU for 146 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft

Wizz Air's first Airbus A321

Wizz Air Holdings Plc, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, announced on November 15, 2017 that, following a competitive selection process, it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus S.A.S. relating to the purchase of a further 146 Airbus A320neo family aircraft (72 A320neo and 74 A321neo). While deliveries will start in 2022, the bulk of the aircraft will be delivered in 2025 and 2026, following on from the delivery of the 110 Airbus A321neo aircraft ordered by Wizz Air in 2015. Under the Memorandum of Understanding Wizz Air has the right to substitute a number of the A320neo aircraft with the Airbus A321neo and vice versa, depending on its future requirements.

This new order, if approved by Wizz Air’s shareholders, would bring Wizz Air’s outstanding orders with Airbus to 282 aircraft, including also 8 Airbus A320ceo and 18 Airbus A321ceo aircraft, deliveries of which will continue to early 2019, and 110 Airbus A321neo aircraft, deliveries of which are planned to start in 2019 and continue through to the end of 2024.

Copyright Photo: Wizz Air (wizzair.com) (Hungary) Airbus A321-231 WL D-AVXI (HA-LXA) (msn 6848) XFW (Gerd Beilfuss). Image: 929984.

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Spirit Airlines reports its third quarter 2017 results

Spirit Airlines Airbus A321-231 WL N671NK  (msn 7246) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936852.

Spirit Airlines, Inc. has reported its third quarter 2017 financial results.

  • GAAP net income for the third quarter 2017 was $60.2 million ($0.87 per diluted share), or $65.5 million ($0.94 per diluted share)1 excluding special items.
  • GAAP operating margin for the third quarter 2017 was 15.1 percent, or 16.4 percent excluding special items1.
  • Spirit ended the third quarter 2017 with unrestricted cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $964.4 million.
  • Spirit’s return on invested capital (non-GAAP, before taxes and excluding special items) for the twelve months ended September 30, 2017 was 18.1 percent2.

“Multiple hurricanes during the third quarter 2017 caused us to cancel over 1,650 flights.  In preparation for Irma, we relocated our Systems Operations Control Center and over 305 team members and their families to our backup facility in Detroit where we ran our operations for about a week.  I am very proud of how the Spirit team pulled together to assist our guests and employees in the regions affected by the storms while keeping the rest of the network running smoothly and still delivering solid financial results.  Excluding the impact of these storms, we estimate our third quarter on-time performance would have been 78.5 percent, a 2.2 percentage point improvement year over year,” said Robert Fornaro, Spirit’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  “It was a challenging quarter on many fronts and I want to thank our entire team for their dedication in going the extra mile to care for our guests and volunteering to assist with the relief efforts.”

Spirit carried over 3,000 guests and more than 800 team members and their families to safety, many of whom were elderly or at risk.  We have transported over a 100,000 pounds of relief supplies in joint efforts with the American Red Cross, Airlink Operation, Puerto Rico Care Lift and many others, have pledged to match donations up to $150,000 to the American Red Cross, and are committed to assist with ongoing relief efforts throughout the Caribbean.

Revenue Performance
For the third quarter 2017, Spirit’s total operating revenue was $687.2 million, an increase of 10.6 percent compared to the third quarter 2016, driven by an 11.2 percent increase in flight volume.  During the third quarter 2017, Spirit canceled over 1,650 flights related to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.  Spirit estimates these hurricanes, together with the revenue overhang from the pilot work action earlier in the year, negatively impacted third quarter 2017 revenue by approximately $40 million and operating income by approximately $39 million.

Total revenue per available seat mile (TRASM) for the third quarter 2017 decreased 6.3 percent compared to the same period last year, primarily driven by lower passenger yields as a result of aggressive competitive pricing action in many of our markets.

On a per passenger flight segment basis, total revenue for the third quarter 2017 decreased 0.5 percent year over year to $108.96 due to ticket revenue per passenger flight segment decreasing 3.2 percent to $56.48, partially offset by non-ticket revenue per passenger flight segment increasing 2.6 percent to $52.48.

Cost Performance
For the third quarter 2017, total GAAP operating expense, including special items of $8.4 million3, increased 20.0 percent, or $97.0 million, year over year to $583.1 million.  Adjusted operating expense for the third quarter 2017 increased 20.2 percent, or $96.4 million to $574.8 million4. The year-over-year increase in both GAAP and adjusted operating expense was primarily driven by an increase in flight volume, higher passenger re-accommodation expense (recorded within other operating expenses), and higher fuel rates.

Aircraft fuel expense increased in the third quarter 2017 by 29.9 percent, or $36.5 million, compared to the same period last year, due to a 12.2 percent increase in the cost of fuel per gallon and a 15.3 percent increase in fuel gallons consumed.

Spirit reported third quarter 2017 cost per available seat mile (“ASM”), excluding special items and fuel (“Adjusted CASM ex-fuel”), of 5.42 cents4, a decrease of 1.1 percent compared to the same period last year.   The decrease year over year was primarily driven by lower maintenance and salaries, wages, and benefits per ASM, partially offset by higher passenger re-accommodation expense and depreciation and amortization per ASM.

Labor
Spirit and its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, remain in open contract negotiations under the supervision of the National Mediation Board.

Fleet
Spirit took delivery of three new Airbus A321ceo aircraft and one new A320ceo aircraft and returned one leased A321ceo aircraft during the third quarter 2017, ending the quarter with 107 aircraft in its fleet.

Share Repurchase Authorization
On October 25, 2017, Spirit’s Board of Directors authorized a repurchase program of up to $100 million in aggregate value of shares of Common Stock, par value $0.0001 per share, from time to time in open market or privately negotiated transactions. The authorization will expire on October 25, 2018. The timing and amount of any stock repurchases are subject to prevailing market conditions and other considerations.

Recent New Service Announcements
Boston – New Orleans (11/09/17)
Minneapolis-St. Paul – New Orleans (11/09/17)
Newark – New Orleans (11/09/17)
Tampa – New Orleans (11/09/17)
Newark – Las Vegas (11/09/17)
Chicago – West Palm Beach (11/09/17)*

* Seasonal Service Operates 11/9/17- 4/11/18

Copyright Photo: Spirit Airlines Airbus A321-231 WL N671NK (msn 7246) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 936852.

JetBlue reports 3Q net income of $179 million

Special titles: JetBlue Airways' 200th Aircraft

JetBlue Airways Corporation on October 24, 2017 reported its results for the third quarter 2017:

  • Operating income of $310 million, a decrease of 12.4% from the third quarter of 2016.
  • Pre-tax income of $293 million, a decrease of 11.2% from the third quarter of 2016.
  • Third quarter net income of $179 million, or $0.55 per diluted share. This compares to JetBlue’s third quarter 2016 net income of $199 million, or $0.58 per diluted share.

Financial Performance

JetBlue reported third quarter operating revenues of $1.8 billion. Revenue passenger miles for the third quarter increased 2.3% to 12.2 billion on a capacity increase of 3.7%, resulting in a third quarter load factor of 85.1%, a 1.2 point decrease year over year.

Yield per passenger mile in the third quarter was 13.32 cents, up 1.0% compared to the third quarter of 2016. Passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) for the third quarter of 2017 decreased 0.4% year over year to 11.34 cents and operating revenue per available seat mile (RASM) increased 0.9% year over year to 12.67 cents.

Compared with last year, operating expenses for the quarter increased 9.1%, or $125 million. Interest expense for the quarter declined 18.5%, or $5 million, as JetBlue continued to reduce its debt. JetBlue’s operating expense per available seat mile (CASM) for the third quarter increased 5.2% year over year to 10.50 cents. Excluding fuel, third quarter CASM1 increased 2.7% to 8.07 cents.

“Our third quarter results were impacted by two hurricanes that reduced our EPS by approximately 6 cents. We are confident that the adjustments we are making to our network will limit any ongoing financial impact in 2018. Despite the short-term challenges, we remain focused on our long-term margin commitments to our shareholders. I’d like to thank our 21,000 Crewmembers in our operation and support centers, who successfully managed the unprecedented challenge of over 30 consecutive days of irregular operations,” said Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s President and CEO.

Fuel Expense and Hedging

In the third quarter of 2017 JetBlue had hedges in place for approximately 10% of its fuel consumption. The realized fuel price in the quarter was $1.69 per gallon, a 14.6% increase versus third quarter 2016 realized fuel price of $1.48.

JetBlue has hedged approximately 10% of its fourth quarter of 2017 fuel consumption using jet fuel swaps. Based on the fuel curve as of October 13th, JetBlue expects an average price per gallon of fuel, including the impact of hedges and fuel taxes, of $1.83 in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Liquidity and Cash Flow

JetBlue ended the quarter with approximately $814 million in unrestricted cash and short term investments, or about 12% of trailing twelve month revenue. In addition, JetBlue maintains approximately $625 million in undrawn lines of credit.

During the third quarter, JetBlue repaid $53 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations. JetBlue anticipates paying approximately $57 million in regularly scheduled debt and capital lease obligations in the fourth quarter 2017 and approximately $194 million for the full year 2017. In the third quarter, JetBlue completed a $130 million accelerated share repurchase program and has completed $380 million in share repurchases to date in 2017.

“Despite unprecedented ATC challenges, repeated hurricane events, and a competitive industry pricing environment, we’ve been able to sustain solid margins, make progress towards our long-term margin commitments and return capital to our shareholders,” said Steve Priest, JetBlue’s EVP Chief Financial Officer.

Fourth Quarter and Full Year Outlook

Capacity is expected to increase between 4.5% and 5.5% year over year in the fourth quarter 2017. For the full year 2017, JetBlue expects capacity to increase between 4.0% and 5.0%.

RASM growth is expected to range between (3.0%) and 0.0% for the fourth quarter 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

CASM excluding fuel is expected to grow between 5.0% and 7.0% for the fourth quarter of 2017. For the full year 2017, JetBlue expects year over year CASM excluding fuel to grow between 4.0% and 5.0%.

Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N942JB (msn 6279) (Prism – Our 200th Aircraft) JFK (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 925119.

JetBlue expands its Mint service map

JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N934JB (msn 6130) (Prism) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 926846.

JetBlue Airways (New York) on July 17, 2017 announced a series of expansion plans for the airline’s Mint premium experience, which will boost the number of Mint flights to more than 80 per day on up to 20 routes.

Starting in January 2018, JetBlue Mint® will land in new cities, launch new routes and expand on existing routes – introducing true premium travel to markets suffering from legacy options and offering all customers on the aircraft JetBlue’s new Airbus A321 core experience.

JetBlue announced it will offer Mint flights between Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport (LAS), advancing JetBlue’s plan to expand its leadership position in Boston where it is already the largest airline. Service will begin January 4, 2018 and seats are on sale today. Last fall the airline announced plans to reach 200 daily flights at Logan, and this spring reached 150 daily flights with nonstop service to more than 60 destinations – more than any other airline in Boston.

The launch of Mint service between Boston and Las Vegas will follow the start of previously announced service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Las Vegas which begins in November.

JetBlue will be the only U.S. airline to operate regularly scheduled flights that feature fully lie-flat seating on domestic routes in Las Vegas.

Mint Schedule Between Boston (BOS) and Las Vegas (LAS)
Beginning January 4, 2018

BOS – LAS Flight #1077 LAS – BOS Flight #1078
7:10 a.m. – 10:22 a.m. 7:45 a.m. – 3:44 p.m.
BOS – LAS Flight #177 LAS – BOS Flight #178

8:50 p.m. – 11:52 p.m.

11:32 a.m. – 7:31 p.m.

Start Dates for Seattle/Tacoma

JetBlue also announced the start dates for two Mint routes at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Service between Boston and Seattle will begin February 15, 2018. When this route launches, JetBlue will serve seven destinations with Mint service in Boston.

Mint Schedule Between Boston (BOS) and Seattle/Tacoma (SEA)
Beginning February 15, 2018

BOS – SEA Flight #597 SEA – BOS Flight #598
8:56 a.m. – 12:18 p.m. 1:29 p.m. – 9:47 p.m.
BOS – SEA Flight #197 SEA – BOS Flight #498
7:22 p.m. – 10:46 p.m. 11:56 p.m. – 8:11 a.m. (+1)

In addition to Boston service, JetBlue will also launch Mint service between New York-JFK and Seattle/Tacoma on April 15, 2018. Mint will initially be offered on one daily roundtrip, with a second daily roundtrip added later in 2018. JetBlue, which is New York’s Hometown Airline®, will offer Mint on ten routes at JFK when Seattle service begins.

Mint Schedule Between New York (JFK) and Seattle (SEA)*
Beginning April 15, 2018

JFK – SEA Flight #263 SEA – JFK Flight #264
10:42 a.m. – 1:58 p.m. 3:08 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

*Second daily roundtrip start date and schedule to be announced later in 2017.

Growth in the Golden State

JetBlue will also expand Mint in two key California markets. At Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) the airline is adding an additional daily Mint flight to New York, which will boost JetBlue’s service on the route to up to eleven daily flights – more than ever before. JetBlue recently relocated to LAX Terminal 5 which brought a vastly upgraded customer travel experience for JetBlue travelers. The addition of Mint has helped JetBlue grow its brand in Los Angeles, with the airline’s overall number of daily flights at LAX doubling since 2014.

At San Francisco International Airport (SFO) JetBlue is adding an additional daily Mint flight to Boston, which will boost JetBlue’s service on the route to up to five daily flights. The added Mint flight frequency will allow for a new afternoon departure from either Boston or San Francisco, offering travelers in both cities even more options to meet their schedules.

Covering the Caribbean

In the Caribbean, where JetBlue is a top carrier, the airline is adding second Saturday seasonal roundtrip Mint flights between:

  • New York-JFK and St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM)
    • Beginning January 13, 2018
  • Boston and Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA)
    • Beginning February 17, 2018
  • Boston and St. Maarten
    • Beginning February 17, 2018

Additionally, Mint service between both New York and Boston to Aruba will operate daily the week of the President’s Day holiday (February 15 – 26). All seasonal Mint routes in the Caribbean operates through April 2018.

JetBlue’s Airbus A321 With Mint Offers Every Customer A Better Flight

All customers will benefit from JetBlue’s new Airbus A321 with Mint aircraft, which features the airline’s new core experience for customers seated throughout the entire aircraft.

Features of the A321 core interior include 10-inch television screens offering free entertainment, comfortable seats with the most legroom in coach (a) and power outlets accessible to all customers. JetBlue’s popular marketplace, a self-serve station full of free snacks, sodas and water for customers to enjoy at their convenience, is also available throughout the flight. And all A321 aircraft offer JetBlue’s free Fly-Fi high-speed broadband Internet service when flying over the contiguous U.S. (b), access to JetBlue’s Hub content on personal devices and first-run Hollywood movies.

Mint Service Map:

Copyright Photo: JetBlue Airways Airbus A321-231 WL N934JB (msn 6130) (Prism) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 926846.